Dr. Benjamin Greenman PhD

Job Title:

Lecturer, Forum for Critical Inquiry




Sociedades en crisis
featuring an essay by Benjamin Greenman

Sociedades en crisis


Dr. Benjamin Greenman

Ben Greenman is a lecturer in the Forum for Critical Inquiry, a research-led academic unit which provides courses in critical, historical and cultural studies at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as PhD supervision.

After completing an undergraduate degree in Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art in the 1990s, he then studied a joint postgraduate degree in the Department of Philosophy and Department of Art History and Theory at the University of Essex, completing his doctorate in Art History and Theory in 2006.

His areas of teaching are 20th and 21st century North American and European art. He teaches courses in the history and theory of photography, art and politics, and philosophy and art/design practice.

His research has focused on minimalist and post-minimalist art in the USA in the 1960s and 70s and the consequence of these shifts for contemporary art in terms of embodiment, sexuality, gender and the questioning of masculinity, materialism and memory. The primary areas of concentration for this research are the history and interpretation of performance art, conceptualism and photography.

The broad framework for his research is the relationship between philosophical aesthetics and modern and contemporary art. And he is specifically interested in the ways that art and aesthetic practices have informed Continental philosophy (phenomenology, Heideggerian ontology, post-structuralism), political philosophy (Lefort, Nancy/Lacoue-Labarthe, Rancière, Balibar) and psychoanalytic theory (Freud, Lacan, Klein, Kristeva) and equally how these inform our understanding and interpretation of art practice.

His long-term research has focused on the American artist Vito Acconci, examining his work of the 1960s and 70s in its East Coast artistic and political context. The artist’s work is treated as exemplary of the broader shifts in the art of the period as well as in dialogue with 20th century French literary avant-garde and history of thought. Recent publications of this research include:

‘Blanchot, Tel Quel and the formation of a Sadean aesthetic in the work of Vito Acconci,’ in Lejeune, A., Mignon, O. and Pirenne, R. (ed.), French Theory and American Art (Brussels and Berlin: (SIC) and Sternberg Press, 2013), pp. 296-322.

‘Seedbed and the Wedge of Chastity: the erotic play of interpretation,’ Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History, Vol. 16, 2011, p. 30-33.

He has also published and presented work on wider debates about aesthetics and politics, including:

‘Meta-politics and the deconstruction of Western aesthetics: re-reading Kant’s Critique of Judgement according to Rancière and Spivak’ in Bodas, L., Cereceda, M., Salmeron, M. and Mayayo, P. (ed.), Societies in crisis, aesthetics perspectives for Europe (Madrid: Ministerio de Cultura, Spain, 2011), pp. 194-200.

Co-convened session (with Dr. Merav Yerushalmy) ‘Common Identities? From post-identity discourse to concepts of communality and participation in contemporary art,’ Association of Art History Conference 2007, University of Ulster, Belfast.